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'Single-use' is Collins' word of the year for 2018

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November 07, 2018 14:49


The Collins dictionary has adopted an environmentally conscious approach to its "Word of the Year" award, bestowing 2018's accolade on the term "single-use."

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the damage caused by plastic waste, more and more people are turning their backs on disposable packaging, bringing the term single-use -- or made to be used once only -- into common parlance.

While single-use may have once epitomised a carefree and convenient lifestyle, it has now come to represent society's worst excesses.

Images of plastic adrift in the ocean, causing the suffering and death of marine animals, have led to a global campaign to reduce its use.

Lexicographers for Collins create an annual list of new and notable words that reflect ever-changing culture and the preoccupations of those who experience it.

Their research has found that "single-use" is now four times as common as it was in 2013, with news stories and images such as those seen in the BBC's Blue Planet II heightening public awareness of the issue.

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